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Social skills are very important in each and every aspect of life whether at home, in school or even in the neighborhoods. Their importance cannot be underestimated taking into consideration that successful social interactions with others lead to successful living (Tyrell, 2009). Social skills are particularly important at school for without these skills, a student is likely to face rejection from fellow classmates and consequent withdrawal from social interactions including dropping out of school (Krehbiel, 2010).
The rate of high school dropout has been year by year in America to a shocking epidemic level more so among the minority races. According to a report by the Civic Enterprises together with Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, dropout in public high schools is as high as close to 50 percent for the blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans (Bridgeland, DiIulio & Morison, 2006). The trend has been an upward one over the past few decades. With dropout being linked to many causes such as students being unable to integrate into the school environment as well as lack of motivation among others, it is of interest to go further and look into the role of solid socialization skills in ensuring school retention. This project seeks to establish the relationship between lack of vital socialization skills in minorities' school-age children and the increasing school dropout rate.
Statement of the problem
In a school environment, success and retention is greatly determined by level of development of important social skills such as self-control, communication, cooperation, confidence and curiosity. Minorities' school-age children are lacking vital socialization skills, which is increasing high dropout rate. Ensuring that children develop vital social skill goes a long way to seeing a student complete school successfully and reap the benefits thereof.
This research intends to ascertain that lack of important social skills such as; communication, empathy, cooperation and confidence are is a major cause of school dropout experienced among the school-age blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans who are a minority in the population of the United States. As such, several questions will be attended to:
What characterizes the social life of most minority children?
Which social skills are most absent in minorities' school-age children?
What is the relationship between social skills and school dropout?
What is the overall effect of school dropout among the minorities?
Significance of the study
Over the past few decades, school dropout especially public high school dropout among the blacks, Hispanics and the Native Americans among other minority groups have been on an increase. This study therefore becomes important in explaining this trend. With a proper understanding of the need to have concrete social skills in school-age children, parents and guardians will be enlightened and challenged to stress the same on their children. The study will particularly show the importance of impacting these skills in children before they enter school to avoid later dropout. It has been shown that intervening at an early age is shown to be effective in shaping the social life positively as compared to intervening later when the child is already in school (Mize, 2005). The findings of this research will also be a wake up call to the education system to train children on developing social skills. With proper implementation of recommendations arising from these findings, it is hoped that the problem of school dropout among the minorities will be addressed by the government by empowering them to develop social skills. Finally the society at large will benefit from this work by acting as a guide towards reduction of social ills related to school dropout.
Research design and methodology
The questions under research will be answered using qualitative research methods. In that case, literature will be sought from published journals, books as well as credible websites. By reviewing existing literature, it will be possible to identify the different ways of life among the minority groups under study and particularly the social life of pre and school aged children. Parents social lives will also be used to predict the level of social skills in children since a parents are the primary caretakers who are likely to transfer their social behaviors to their children (Mize, 2005). Literature will also be sought from published work and websites identifying the rarest or the worst developed skills in minorities' school age children. Together with this, trends on school dropping among minorities' children will be learnt to find out the relationship between lack of vital social skills and school dropout. Existing literature and data will from government statistics and other research will be used to present the effects of dropout among the minorities.
Organization of the study
Chapter one of the research will cover introduction which will have (1) the background information regarding school dropout among the children of the minorities in the U.S. and the role of socialization skills in this (2) the problem statement (3) research questions (4) significance of the study, (5) research design and methodology and (6) organization of the study. The second chapter will cover literature review whereby past studies along this topic and related to this topic will be appraised.
Chapter three will address the research questions. The first research question will be: what characterizes the social life of most minority children? Here, the social upbringing of the Hispanics children will be discussed separating, similarly with those of black's and Native American's children. The lives of the parents will be focused on with an emphasis on how it can affect the social life of the children.
The second research question to be addressed will be: Which social skills are most absent in minorities' school-age children? This chapter will begin by highlighting the most essential socialization skills before narrowing down to identify some of the vital skills that may be lacking in school-age children of the minorities under study. According to Church (2010), among the most important skills that a child should develop in order to cope socially are confidence, cooperation, curiosity and communication and these shall be extensively explored.
The third section of chapter three will focus on the third research question i.e. what is the relationship between social skills and school dropout? It is in this chapter that the state of school dropout among the blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans will be brought into light. Subsequently, it will be shown how the social skills identified to be lacking in chapter four relate to the trends of school dropout. In addition, evidence regarding increasing school dropout as a result of poor relationship skills will be presented to put weight on the question.
The last research question will be addressed in the fourth section of chapter three i.e. what is the overall effect of school dropout among the minorities? In this chapter, the importance of the study will be stressed by providing existing evidence related to negative effects of dropping school. Issues such as involvement in criminal activities and unemployment among minorities' school-age children will be focused. The overall effect of dropping out of school to the whole nation and society will be presented.
In chapter four, a summary of the research findings will be made. Specifically, the summary will be based on each research question. Information regarding each question will be presented as whether addressing the aim of the research or not. Conclusions based on the summary will also be made which will either affirm that increasing dropout among the minorities' school-age children is as a result of lack of vital socialization skills. A list of references used in this work will be given at the end of the paper with appendices also being attached.